Iris Online Review: Eye of The Storm... Get it?
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Iris Online is a cutesy anime-themed MMORPG that takes place in the mystical land of Arcana, a place ruled by magic and tarot mystery. Visual-wise, Iris Online is no different from its MMO sister, Luna Online, which was also developed by EyaSoft. If you think that Iris Online is just a rethemed version of its angelic counterpart, then you've got another thing coming. Iris Online is a completely different game, with unique features and a whole lot of MMO goodness to share. Don't believe me? Let me explain then...
Iris Online has 3 races to choose from, each with their own racial abilities, stats, and character classes. The Races are as follows:
Human - Come on! No MMO would be complete without humans. Humans can choose between Fighter and Mage as their starting classes. Note that these classes are not permanent and will undergo changes as you progress in the game. Humans by far have the most balanced line-up of classes in the game as they both have physical attackers and magic users.
Elves- Elves in this game serve as the ranged fighters in the game. When playing an Elf, players can choose between Ranger and Shaman, who can both be deadly in the art of ranged combat. If you want to do some serious range damage while being Legolas pretty at the same time, then Elves are definitely for you.
Hybrid- Hybrids are basically beastmen who possess animal-like features like fox or squirell ears and striped skin marks. As stereotypical as it may be, these beastmen disregard everything that's connected to brain power and can only excel in melee attacks due to their overwhelming strength (and stereotypically challenged minds). The Hybrid's first classes are Warrior and Rogue.
Upon picking your race and class, you'll be taken to the game for some basic training. The ingame tutorial is quite superb in my opinion, as it actually tackles a lot of things, making it much easier for a newbie to function well regardless of MMO experience.
If you're familiar with Tarot cards (yes, the ones used for fortune telling), they play a huge role in Iris Online. First off, players can benefit from different buffs that can be acquired through the Divination Process. This process is kind of hard if you're a beginner, but will eventually get the hang of it after performing it a few times. What I liked about the divination process are the diverse possibilites of buffs and enhancements players can achieve by experimenting with different cardforms.
Aside from the ones that give you buffs and enhancements, some cards can be combined with various items, giving them extra bonuses and extra HURT-factor. Some of them even transform into the monster you looted them from. Special cards such as these can be acquired from bosses. What are you waiting for? ATTACK!!!
It's an MMO
Iris Online has a lot of quests to keep gamers entertained. While other games give you quests that consist of nonsensical things like blacksmiths running out of materials, Iris Online actually expands its storyline through questing. This allows players to immerse themselves further in the gypsy-like world of Arcana.
Also, Iris Online features an array of dungeons and instances that will put you to the edge of your seats. With tons of bosses ready to test your skills, this MMO is a good example of the saying "don't judge a book by its cover". For all you know, those mushrooms may be you worst nightmare.
The game also has a sweet PVP system that lets players duke it out in various mods like capture the flag. There's really a lot of variety in the game, and players will definitely have so much to do whether its random questing or PVP.
The Road To Perfection
Another factor that defines Iris Online is the character customization system. Once your character reaches a specific level, they can choose between a series of subclasses to further enhance their character's capabilities, allowing players to maximize performance while syncing their toons with their playstyle further. Each character also has their own specific skill tree, which branches out into different methods of playstyle. Again this helps tremendously when making your character function the way you want them to.
Titles, are also essential in your character's growth as equipping them allows you to gain extra attributes which may work to your advantage. Titles are earned through a variety of ways, such as looting monsters and participating in various activities. Again, I would like to say that Iris Online's character customization system is superb and is comparable to the most up-to-date games. It definitely has enough options to help you shap your character.
If you think that this game is just as shallow and simple as most cutesy anime MMOs that basically revolves around grinding and statbuilding, let me say that Iris Online is bound to change your mind. It's amazing how this title managed to take cutesy MMOs on a different level, giving players a lot of features to enjoy. When I first played this game, I was already prepared for the worst. After playing dozens of games that resemble the same graphics, characters, and storyline, I was afraid that Iris Online will only add up to the generation of cutesy clones. I guess the game proved me wrong. To all you MMO lovers out there, this game is here to impress.
-Questing and Dungeons
-Lot of PVP systems
-The Tarot system is very immersive
-Spoonfeeding, at some point
-Somehow the quests feel repetitive